Thursday, Nov. 30, 2000 | 11:16 a.m.
Clark County Public Works employees and engineers along with private contractors unveiled their plan Wednesday for a section of the Las Vegas Beltway.
Unlike other road construction proposals, this one seemed to meet with general enthusiasm from the members of the public that attended the public information session.
The beltway section would include about 5.2 miles from Simmons Street to Pecos Road and would cap the northern section of what is envisioned will be a loop around most of the urban area of the Las Vegas Valley.
"I think it's great," said Robert Rhine, a retired manufacturer who lives a few miles from the western end of the planned beltway section. "I want to be able to get out of the Northwest without having to go over, under and through the Spaghetti Bowl."
Rhine said the new road will give him quicker access to Interstate 15 and McCarran International Airport. He said the new road might take pressure off of U.S. 95, a busy highway now slated for widening.
The U.S. 95 widening project has prompted criticism from environmentalists, who would like to stop the project, and from residents nearby the highway, who want to know if the state will soon purchase their homes for the right-of-way.
The northern beltway project is now in a design phase, but construction could begin by April and finish up by the end of 2001 or early 2002, engineers at the meeting said. The construction is expected to cost about $13 million.
The road will have two lanes in each direction, at least initially without any stops, said Roy Davis, a Public Works senior civil engineer. There aren't now any roads to intersect with the stretch of Beltway, but that could quickly change as the population grows in that area of North Las Vegas.
The road is designed to accommodate stop signs or lights if they're needed, Davis said.
Another stretch of beltway is scheduled for opening today on the Las Vegas Valley's west side. Public Works will open the stretch from Tropicana to Sahara avenues for motorists this afternoon.
Political leaders, government officials and construction contractors will hold a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. today to open the 4-mile, $35 million stretch of roadway.
Interchanges for this section of Beltway will be at Tropicana, Flamingo Road, Town Center Drive and Sahara.
The Beltway should be open to Charleston Boulevard by January, to the Summerlin Parkway by the end of February or early March and to Cheyenne Avenue by early fall of next year.